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OU football notebook: Bob Stoops says Oklahoma will use “Belldozer” formation again

BLAKE BELL — He's listed as Oklahoma's co-backup quarterback with Drew Allen. But freshman Blake Bell's biggest contribution this season will likely be in special formations like the ones the Sooners used Saturday at Kansas State.
By TRAVIS HANEY, Staff Writer, Published: November 1, 2011

NORMAN — Oklahoma's wildcat formation with Blake Bell is here to stay. Right, Coach Stoops?

“No,” Sooners coach Bob Stoops said, “I don't think we'll run that again.”

He was joking.

In reality, expect more of the big third-team quarterback in goal-line and short-yardage situations, a package that made its debut last week in OU's win at Kansas State.

“It's just a wrinkle that will be there,” Stoops said during his Tuesday news conference. “The positive part of that is there's multiple ways you can run with him. Also, we like the way he throws the ball. We'll have some different combinations, different ways he can throw it, too, that hopefully take advantage of the way people align.”

The team knows the formation as “cat,” but fans are adopting “BellBone” and “Belldozer” for it.

Bell entered the game on the team's first possession, punching in a score against the Wildcats from a yard out. Stoops heard from offensive coordinator Josh Heupel that Bell could barely get the call out, because he was so nervous.

“That's part of being a young guy who hasn't been on the field a ton,” Stoops said. “I think it's good we got it out there.”

So, was it bad the Sooners tipped their hand with the formation in a 41-point blowout, rather than saving it for a bigger game down the line?

“The first time we trotted it out was the first touchdown,” Stoops said. “Who's to say we were going to win the way we were? You can't anticipate that. It's already out of the bag.

“The other part of it was, as you say, it was his first time out there. He drops one of them. It's experience running it. … You have to get experience doing it. I was glad to get him out there and get him more comfortable in it.”


Bell runs 6 foot 6 and 245 pounds, officially, making him a natural for the run-pass option when a yard or two is needed.

“See 260 pounds going downhill, I know for a fact we're going to get 5 yards,” running back Brennan Clay said of Bell. “He's big, physical. He's not slow. I've seen his highlight tapes.”

A comparison was made to former Sooner and Heisman winner Jason White, before White had his knee issues.

“Yeah, but with about 3 inches and about 25 more pounds – or 30,” Stoops said. “Jason wasn't nearly that big. But, as far as an athlete, yeah.”

Bell, from Wichita, is listed as the co-No. 2 with Drew Allen, but Bell has typically been the third quarterback in games. Bell and Allen figure to battle for the starting job in the spring, if Landry Jones leaves early for the NFL.

“He looks good throwing the football,” Stoops said. “He's a big, strong guy, got a good release.”


The SEC has overtaken the Big 12 for the country's top conference, according to computers that formulate such things. Stoops shrugged when asked about the two leagues.

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